This article features insights from one of AgFunder’s international data partners, who provide data for AgFunder’s agrifoodtech investment reports. AgFunder is AFN’s parent company.
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For a smallish country of just 9.2 million people, Israel doesn’t half pack a punch when it comes to agrifoodtech venture funding. No fewer than four Israeli agrifoodtech ventures scored nine-figure US dollar funding rounds in 2021, according to AgFunder’s recent 2022 Agrifoodtech Investment Report.
For comparison, China — which is home to 1.4 billion people — registered 12 nine-figure deals last year; so Israeli agrifoodtech clocks just over 0.4 nine-figure deals per person against China’s 0.01.
Of those four companies, two are working on cultivated meat; the other pair are offering supply chain technologies. Here are the top 15 deals in Israeli agrifoodtech from last year:
Read on for more analysis from Ido Yosovzon (IY), agrifoodtech sector lead at AgFunder’s Israel data partner Start-Up Nation Central.
What do the top 15 deals in Israel in 2021 tell us about the broader agrifood venture funding landscape?
IY: We see significant growth in the amount of funds invested across the agrifoodtech sector in 2021. Looking at the top 15 investments we see that the amount of capital raised per round is growing. 2021 was the first year in which we saw rounds higher than $100 million in upstream companies; these were captured by startups from the alternative proteins segment.
The growth in round sizes is also reflected in the growth of median round size across the whole sector. Among the top 15 investments, we note a strong representation for companies that are associated with additional sectors and not just agrifood – namely, ‘Industry 4.0’ and healthtech.
What were the key trends and developments in agrifood venture funding in your region in 2021?
IY: The sector is maturing with larger rounds in both ag and food. Foodtech investments have seen significant growth in 2021; it was the first year in which foodtech companies raised more funds and more rounds than agtech companies. Israeli cultivated meat startups were particularly successful in raising capital, attracting the highest amount of funds. 2021 saw the first mega-rounds of $100 million-plus in alternative proteins in Israel, underscoring investors’ belief in the field’s potential. The growing round sizes are characterized by a growing number of foreign investors entering the Israeli agrifood space.
What are your expectations for 2022?
IY: The agrifoodtech sector is in an advantageous position to benefit from the growing awareness and attention directed toward climate and sustainability-related technologies, and the related consumer demand trends. Solutions associated with beneficial environmental impact show untapped potential to unlock new investment and growth opportunities; which, in turn, can add value and resources to the entire ecosystem.
Start-Up Nation Central will continue to support the growth of the agrifoodtech sector in Israel by generating more global cooperation and funding opportunities for companies that are operating in the field.